Hansenbuilt Design transforms Canadian attic into a multifunctional space

Georgina Johnston
19 Feb 2020

Female-founded, funded, operated and now open, Kwench is different from the traditional coworking spaces

Founder and Director of Kwench, Tessa McLoughlin, worked closely with local interior designer Sarah Donald of Hansenbuilt Design on an interior space that would celebrate the history of the project and embrace the vibrant culture and community of the club. The space the club now occupies is the top floor of a building, a space which had lain derelict for decades. The 25,000ft² full-service work and social club brings new life to a derelict attic space in one of Victoria, Canada’s forgotten heritage buildings.

The new club offers members private offices from one to 28 people, shared workspaces, generous fitness facilities and classes, workshops, private and public events, lectures, art installations, meditation, a library, a bar, food and drink, all in one place. Kwench offers a unique and welcoming place in the city for social interaction and valuable connections that are important to the culture of the city; members enjoy a thoughtfully designed space that considers the health of the individual. Kwench is also host to a range of public and private events that give voice to the Victoria creative industries as well as a forum for local government and stakeholders to discuss and shape the future of the city. 

Merging two roofs together with a striking glass atrium, which is now the reception and the heart of the space. The atrium expands out to a variety of shared social and work spaces at the centre of the club, including a full kitchen, dining areas, lounges, shared workspaces and a bar. This design was intended to promote connections, socializing, and cross-pollination of knowledge and ideas. Surrounding this shared space are the private offices, the Art Room, The Studio, Meditation & Library, boardrooms and change rooms. The original structural elements were exposed and featured whenever possible, creating unique rooms and spaces, and new skylights were installed throughout to bring in natural daylight. Engaging colours and playful designs bring life to the interiors, and are tempered with a calming, natural palette of wood, tile and fabrics.

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